(CN) – The widow of former Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson Sr. filed a lawsuit against his childhood friend on Friday, alleging the man conned Tyson into purchasing a San Francisco condo.
The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court in San Francisco County, claims that Dwight Davenport originally proposed joint ownership in a condominium unit with Tyson in 2018. In May of that year, Tyson purchased the condo in his name.
Davenport proposed setting up a corporation for the joint ownership, according to the complaint, for tax avoidance purposes. Tyson’s widow, Virgil Denise Bradley-Tyson, said her husband agreed to about $3 million in contracts to refurbish and remodel the property.
Davenport created the corporation, BJT Holdings, for the purpose of setting up joint ownership, but then quietly drafted a grant deed giving BJT 75% ownership in the property and only 25% to Tyson, according to the lawsuit.
Bradley-Tyson said she discovered the grant deed after her husband’s sudden death last November at the age of 60. She said Davenport’s own tax preparation business DCI had been faltering at the time the deal was made, but didn’t inform her husband of it.
“Plaintiff is informed and believes… that Bernard was unaware of Davenport and DCIs’ financial and legal problems and at all times Bernard continued to place great trust and confidence in Davenport,” the lawsuit states.
In forming BJT Holdings, Bradley-Tyson said only Davenport signed the articles of incorporation, which gave him the ability to execute bylaws for the company and bilk her husband out of his ownership interest.
“Davenport, who had had financial and legal problems for many years, undertook these actions to wrongfully claim a portion of the Property for himself,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Bernard did not sign either the Articles or the Bylaws and was unaware of Davenport’s true intention in creating BJT.”
Bradley-Tyson is seeking to quiet the title to the property, as well as punitive damages. She is represented by Jeffrey Belote of San Francisco-based Clark Hill LLP.